US says ‘greatly worried’ about health and safety of Niger's ousted president
‘We are greatly worried about his health and his personal safety and the personal safety of his family,’ State Department spokesman says
By Iclal Turan
WASHINGTON (AA) - The US is “greatly worried” about the health and safety of Niger’s detained President Mohamed Bazoum and his family, the State Department said Wednesday.
Spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had inquired about Bazoum’s safety in all conversations he has had.
“I don't want to give specific details from the conversation. But obviously he's been there for a number of weeks now. And as time goes on, as he's held in isolation, it's a situation that is a growing concern,” he said.
Miller said he would not speak about reports concerning Bazoum's situation and he had "no reason to dispute" them.
Blinken said he had another telephone call Tuesday with Bazoum to express "our continued efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the current constitutional crisis."
"The United States reiterates our call for the immediate release of him and his family," Blinken wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
On July 26, a group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, seized power after detaining Bazoum, saying they took the step due to the "deteriorating security situation and bad governance."
Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.
Many countries as well as regional blocs have called for the president to be reinstated. Coup leader Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, however, has rejected those calls as interference in the country’s internal affairs.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc, which consists of 15 countries, will hold another emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the crisis.
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